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Four Fun, Safe Summer Projects for Your Kids

Half of keeping your kids out of harm’s way is making sure they are occupied. If boredom creeps in, who knows what imaginative ideas they will come up with to keep themselves busy. Direct supervision of your kids at all times is, more than likely, not a possibility. Instead, setting your kids up with supplies and ideas for fun projects to keep them entertained and safe is the best way to avoid many potentially dangerous situations. Here are a few options to keep your kids busy throughout the summer.

1. Vegetable or Flower Gardening

For kids, watching a plant they cared for grow and bloom can be a very rewarding experience. If you have access to a garden or even just a large window box, setting your kids up with seeds, sprouts, and gardening tools can be a great way to ensure your kids have an engaging project all summer long.

Take the kids to a plant nursery, let them pick out their own seed packets, and get them started with seedlings in little pots. Each child can keep a plant in their room, tending to them until they are large enough to transplant to the big garden or window box.

Growing food can be particularly rewarding, as your kids can then help you prepare and cook the veggies they have grown. Gardening is an enriching activity with valuable lessons your children will use throughout their lives, such as growing their own produce and preparing meals.

2. Lemonade Stands

The old standby for summer activities can still be a fun day project for kids today. Find a healthy recipe for lemonade and help your kids prepare it from scratch. You might even branch out and help your kids prepare a cooler full of healthy, homemade smoothies, popsicles, and ice cream.

The food and drink preparation alone involved in this project offers a full day of activity, plus it can be used to stock your own freezer with healthy summer treats.

For an added bonus, you might have your kids freeze some tart cherry juice for the end of the day.
Cherry juice contains melatonin, the hormone your brain produces in order to trigger sleep. A tasty cherry popsicle is a welcome treat at the end of a hot summer day, and it is the perfect way to get your kids to bed on time.

3. Homemade Art Supplies

Instead of going out and spending money on potentially toxic summer art supplies, have your children make their own. From watercolors to sidewalk chalk, there is always a recipe that will help your kids flex their creative muscles. Making homemade art materials is a great way to turn a day of decorating the sidewalk into a two-day project, with the first day devoted to making the supplies themselves.

It also prevents your kids from coming in contact with any toxic chemicals that may be found in store-bought art supplies. For children who are allergic to soy, for instance, making homemade play-dough allows your child to enjoy the many fun things you can do with play-dough without the risk of an allergic response.

4. Chores for Fun

Rather than coming up with fun things for your kids to do each day, set up a chore chart along with a set of activity-based rewards. Give each chore a value of a certain number of points, and your children can cash in on rewards using their earnings from contributing to household tasks.

For example, making homemade sidewalk chalk paint and painting the entire driveway, spending the day at the park, complete with picnic, or even an overnight camping trip are all reward possibilities to recognize your child’s efforts. Though the day-to-day activities might not necessarily be fun, your kids will still be occupied, safe, and working toward a worthy goal.

Summer breaks are all about fun for kids. They spend their days in the sun with no school, homework, or obligations. With so much free time, there is always potential for unsafe experimentation for entertainment. Keeping your kids focused on approved activities is the best way to ensure their safety without 24-hour surveillance. Let them make their own summer treats and art supplies, give them the tools to grow their own garden, or foster responsibility with a chore chart and consequential rewards. However you decide to spend your summer, the key is safety.

Sean Morris became a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get to spend more time with his kids. He enjoys sharing his experiences via LearnFit.org and hopes writing for the site will help him provide other parents with tips and advice on juggling life, career, and family.

Image via Pixabay by marybettinblank

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